Dick Metcalf writes: Ruger is not known for overhyping its products, so when company spokesman Ken Jorgensen stood up in front of me in the conference room at Ruger’s Newport, New Hampshire, plant and said, “we’re about to show you the most significant change in revolver design in the past century,” he had my attention. He also had to convince me he wasn’t just blowing smoke—especially considering that what he was holding appeared, at a casual glance, to be simply another small-frame snubnosed .38.
The new Ruger Lightweight Carry Revolver (LCR) is a compact five-shot .38 Special that weighs only 13 1/2 ounces, has a fully shrouded hammer and double-action-only trigger pull, a 1 7/8-inch barrel, and is rated for +P ammunition. It is essentially the same size as a classic S&W Chiefs Special or Taurus Model 85, and maintains basic holster compatibility with those guns. But here’s the kicker the LCR’s lower half, which contains the entire operating mechanism, is constructed of polymer. Yes, that’s what I said. The Ruger LCR is a +P .38 Special revolver with a plastic frame; it is the first such specimen in the history of firearms.
The LCR consists of three major modular subcomponents an upper-cylinder frame/barrel assembly, a lower-frame fire control housing assembly, and a cylinder/crane assembly. The cylinder frame/barrel assembly is constructed of a 7000-series aluminum forging with a 1714 stainless-steel barrel sleeve threaded into the barrel shroud. There are also hardened insert bushings for the center pin and firing pin opening in the recoil shield at the rear of the cylinder window. The barrel is controlled for barrel/cylinder gap by its thread-in depth (so there is no filing required at the breech end), allowing for a precisely finished and dimensioned forcing cone area for consistent transition of the bullet from the cylinder into the barrel. There are no moving parts in the cylinder frame/barrel assembly except for the cylinder-release latch mechanism; it merely serves as a housing for the cylinder crane assembly and interfaces with the lower-frame/fire-control housing.
Gun Digest‘s Grant Cunningham writes: The idea behind the +P is to add enough energy to reliably deliver an expanded bullet deep enough to do its job. It doesn’t have to be a lot of extra energy – it just has to be enough. Here’s what you need to know.
What About +P Ammo?
Remember that hollowpoints use part of their energy to expand their diameter, but the energy that’s used to expand the bullet is energy that can’t be used to drive the same bullet forward. There is no such thing as a free lunch; if you want the bullet to expand, it’s going to use energy. If there is too little of it to start with, there won’t be enough left to carry the bullet on its path.
By Patrick Sweeney, Gun Digest
According to Corey Graff, Gun Digest’s editor, Master Gunsmith Patrick Sweeney is no starry-eyed fanboy of the Glock. Just read his new book, Glock Deconstructed, and you’ll see why. But even Sweeney, who authored 1911: The First 100 Years—and countless other articles on the Glock v. 1911 debate—could not discount the advantages of the Glock auto pistol. Here are his top 10 from the Gun Digest Book of the Glock.
In those preceding years, the other pistols had in many cases been manufactured to a less demanding standard. They had been made when precision meant hand fitting, and everyone expected pistols to be somewhat less reliable than revolvers. Soon the “hand-fit vs. reliability” debate would sputter out, but until then, Glock was first. The level of reliability that Glocks demonstrate can be approached and matched by other pistols, but there is a definite advantage in being first.
Here Glock has a definite advantage. The polymer frame shrugs off impacts that would dent or crack other frames made of aluminum or steel. Unless you’re willing to make your handgun excessively bulky (and thus solid) it won’t be as durable. And that heavy, who’d want it?
The Glock’s big Glock advantage is its weight. Or lack thereof, really. The standard G-17 tips the scales empty at a feathery 22 ounces. Comparable pistols come in 25 to 30 percent heavier, and revolvers must be quite compact to beat the Glock. Big revolvers can’t do it; small or airweight can; but they all lack capacity. Read the rest of this entry »
Rob Tuck, USA Carry: Today we’ll be taking a look at the Taurus Public Defender Polymer .45LC/410 GA. This little hand-cannon holds five shots and Taurus claims it weighs in at 27 ounces unloaded. My scale showed it weighed in at 23.5 ounces (+/- .5 ounces). Coming from the sales success of the Judge revolver, Taurus released the Public Defender Polymer to be considered as a concealed carry weapon. The relatively small size, having an overall length of 7.65” is very good for possible concealment. The barrel is a mere 2” long and the gun at its widest point is only 1.5”. Taurus also includes the Taurus safety lock, which is in the form of a small key that gets inserted just below the hammer and turned. Once the gun is locked, it cannot be fired. Read the rest of this entry »